Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting England’s Top Doctor in Park

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
July 30, 2021 Updated: July 30, 2021

LONDON—A man who accosted England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty in a London park pleaded guilty Friday to assault and was ordered to pay the scientist £100 ($140).

Lewis Hughes, 24, and another man filmed themselves harassing Whitty, who has become a nationally recognized figure through appearances at televised coronavirus briefings. One man is seen on video putting his arm around Whitty as they apparently drunkenly ask him for a photograph.

Prosecutor Kalsoom Shah said the incident in St. James’s Park in June was “completely unacceptable” and Hughes’ behavior “was both shocking and disgraceful.”

Hughes pleaded guilty to assault by beating during a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. He received an eight-week suspended prison sentence and was told to pay £100 ($140) in compensation.

The second defendant, 24-year-old Jonathan Chew, pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in November.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press